Simon B. Rhymin’

Little, Brown. Mar. 2021. 240p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780316538978.
Gr 5 Up–Though fifth grader Simon is quiet, he dreams of following in the footsteps of other iconic Chicago rappers. But Simon starts to panic when his new teacher assigns a presentation, and he’s the first to go. With the help of his friends, he will find a way to bring his inner rapper out and showcase his talents to make the grade. Readers will find the format of this book engaging. Reed writes in song breaks that convey Simon’s feelings and inner thoughts through rap lyrics, which will keep even reluctant readers going. Simon is a relatable and authentic upper elementary student who will connect with the intended audience—tweens will be cheering for him as his confidence grows and he shines bright.
VERDICT This uplifting, realistic story of a young Black boy lyricist is a strong addition to any library collection.

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